October 20, 2014, 08:08:56 AM

Author Topic: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait  (Read 29580 times)

GuyF

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2013, 06:19:30 AM »
Interesting. The smile says "Hey, I'm your pal" but the arms folded says, "barrier".

If you want to see some great portrait shots of world leaders (and world-class thugs) you should check out Planton's book "Power". Ask yourself how many of these people would you want to be stuck in a lift with?

http://platonphoto.com/portraits/politics/index.html

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2013, 06:19:30 AM »

GuyF

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2013, 06:22:40 AM »
Interesting. The smile says "Hey, I'm your pal" but the arms folded says, "barrier".

If you want to see some great portrait shots of world leaders (and world-class thugs) you should check out Planton's book "Power". Ask yourself how many of these people would you want to be stuck in a lift with?

http://platonphoto.com/portraits/politics/index.html

Sorry for the double-post but does the shot of Clinton in the link I attached say, "legs apart and the tie points the way!"?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 06:25:44 AM by GuyF »

Marsu42

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2013, 06:23:41 AM »
It's not often I see people flaming each other like this on CR.  Quite amusing, but unnecessary I'm sure.

I'd not consider this a flame, I generally like bdunbar79's posts, but this particular one didn't seem very thought through, thus the question. Plus often some posts don't hit the spot because not everyone is a native speaker, a problem I'm wrestling with.

The portrait looks good to me.  If someone paid me to take a photo of a president, I'd be wanting to make sure the darned thing was in focus - so I can understand why he'd be wanting to use f/7.1.

I guess Mr. President didn't just allow for one shot, but for his official portrait would have had quite a lot of time to get an optimal one - he cannot be elected again, but still, top politicians are said to care about their public image :-)

Sorry for the double-post

There's always the "modify post" button...

Interesting. The smile says "Hey, I'm your pal" but the arms folded says, "barrier".

That surely has been thought through by the 10+ people of his personal publicity staff standing behind the photog... if anyone knows the 80s GB sitcom "Yes, Prime Minister" there's a good episode with the PM being announced on TV and wanting to be seen as authoritative and people's pal at the same time resulting in rather awkward mimic :->

photogjack

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2013, 06:30:52 AM »
I'm guessing that that's probably a legal requirement related to Freedom of Information Requests etc. Not like deleting emails. He must carry a lot of CF cards though!

Nice shot and interesting post.
About a couple of months ago I saw a documentary (can't remember if it was Discovery or NatGeo or History channel) about the President's photographer ... apparently the photographer takes photos of the president all day long and he is not permitted to delete even a single photo, even if it is a crappy shot.

elflord

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2013, 06:39:15 AM »
Yeah, my point is he should have been using the 70-200 II.

But wouldn't it be a "waste" to use the 70-200 II at 85mm ? It goes up to 200.

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2013, 06:45:19 AM »
I'm guessing that that's probably a legal requirement related to Freedom of Information Requests etc. Not like deleting emails. He must carry a lot of CF cards though!

Nice shot and interesting post.
About a couple of months ago I saw a documentary (can't remember if it was Discovery or NatGeo or History channel) about the President's photographer ... apparently the photographer takes photos of the president all day long and he is not permitted to delete even a single photo, even if it is a crappy shot.
According to the video, all those photos are archived by the white house IT security in some "secure" location ... imagine having a a crappy out of focus photo of the president (or maybe of him scratching his family jewels  ;D), archived in some secure location never allowed to be deleted ... wonder what they would wanna do with those photos?
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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2013, 06:51:29 AM »
The reason for having a 1.2 lens is also because you have a larger lens with a wider diameter. This can theoretically give you sharper pics across the frame and less off axis illumination drop off as you stop it down to more sane apertures. Consider the tilt shift lenses which have superior straight on performance, because they have these big pieces of glass so in normal use you're using the best part of the glass (the center). AFAIK at least.


I wonder if he used 600-RT strobes. He probably was allowed a minute to make the shot and disrupt the oval office, so the biggest constraint would be time.

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2013, 06:51:29 AM »

elflord

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2013, 06:56:02 AM »
Well, anyway, as Vincent Laforet says in his blog, there is NO reason to own the 85L if you're not shooting it between 1.2 - 2.0, as you might as well own the 70-200 II for only a few hundred $ more, with the ability to have the versatility of the zoom, much faster auto-focus, IS and pretty much equal sharpness.

If you can afford both, well, I'm jealous of you.

There's no reason to own a 70-200 if the only focal length in that range  that you plan to use is 85mm. Fast AF and IS are not useful for this guys use case (subject is more or less stationary, and he would want to shoot at 1/60 or faster IS or not)

Marsu42

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2013, 07:03:22 AM »
This can theoretically give you sharper pics across the frame and less off axis illumination drop off as you stop it down to more sane apertures.

Well,  theoretically - we'll see about that when the ~20mp Canon resolution doubles...

... but please do tell what exactly "off axis illumination drop off" is, I have an idea what "axis illumination" might be but I cannot google the whole concept :-o

Nyc2dc

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2013, 07:39:48 AM »
I was very surprised that no one commented on the composition/balance of the shot. There doesn't seem to be enough head room. I'm thinking this was probably due to not being able to backup and he had to make a quick decision to either making an unpleasant cut at the bottom of the shot or selling off his head room real estate. If this was the case he probably made the right decision, or maybe the 70-200 would have been a better choice to buy the extra headroom at 70 mm, and still have flattering compression. Who knows
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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2013, 07:41:07 AM »
This can theoretically give you sharper pics across the frame and less off axis illumination drop off as you stop it down to more sane apertures.

Well,  theoretically - we'll see about that when the ~20mp Canon resolution doubles...

... but please do tell what exactly "off axis illumination drop off" is, I have an idea what "axis illumination" might be but I cannot google the whole concept :-o

Sorry, my physics background got the better of me, it's called 'peripheral illumination', the falloff that occurs with all lenses as you go toward the edge, most pronounced in the corners which are the closest to the edge, where it is known as vignetting.

Big lenses (1.2) give you a f/stop you'd never want to use, but they also give you a big piece of glass. Stopped down to a sane level you should get a very even image across the frame.

smithy

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2013, 07:55:35 AM »
I was very surprised that no one commented on the composition/balance of the shot. There doesn't seem to be enough head room. I'm thinking this was probably due to not being able to backup and he had to make a quick decision to either making an unpleasant cut at the bottom of the shot or selling off his head room real estate. If this was the case he probably made the right decision, or maybe the 70-200 would have been a better choice to buy the extra headroom at 70 mm, and still have flattering compression. Who knows
To be honest, I think this composition was intentional - it creates a sense of power and authority.  If the rule of thirds were strictly applied (at eye level) he would seem a lot smaller in the frame.
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lvanzijl

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2013, 08:23:08 AM »
I was very surprised that no one commented on the composition/balance of the shot. There doesn't seem to be enough head room. I'm thinking this was probably due to not being able to backup and he had to make a quick decision to either making an unpleasant cut at the bottom of the shot or selling off his head room real estate. If this was the case he probably made the right decision, or maybe the 70-200 would have been a better choice to buy the extra headroom at 70 mm, and still have flattering compression. Who knows
To be honest, I think this composition was intentional - it creates a sense of power and authority.  If the rule of thirds were strictly applied (at eye level) he would seem a lot smaller in the frame.

What I found interesting was "Orientation: Horizontal (normal)" in the EXIF, never seen such an entry in my EXIF info's. Not sure what it could mean other then that it wasn't Pete who thought the composition through but one of the people how did the crop :)

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2013, 08:23:08 AM »

East Wind Photography

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2013, 08:52:33 AM »
Agreed!  You buy the 1.2 so you CAN stop it down and still have reasonably low light capability.  W/ a 70-200 f4 you would have to shoot it mostly wide open...but on the 85, you can get some DOF at F/4.  Works out nicely...provided you have a large wallet like the federal govt...oh thats right, no money in our govts wallet.  The Chinese paid for that 85L!  ;)

85L at 7.1. What a waste!!!

I never understood why portrait and extremely shallow dof seem to be synonymous for some - it's certainly nice to have the *option* for subject isolation and extreme background blur esp. if the bg is crappy, but if either the eye *or* the nose is in focus it's not necessarily the most pleasing look to me and probably non-photogs that don't get high when looking at a super-creamy bokeh (if they know the word) :-o

I think you mostly use f/1.2 when you first get the lens - because you can, and then you start to get real realise that in order to shoot portraits with both eyes in focus, you do need to stop the lens down.
The real justification for shooting this lens wide open is when you are just desperate for light, or when you have a subject where you want to isolate one small part, but not for normal portraits.

Yes and no. :)

FunPhotons

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2013, 09:10:36 AM »
Actually I'm surprised they didn't go through a electronic transmission EXIF stripping stage. Isn't that a security risk  ???

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2013, 09:10:36 AM »